You won't need a motorcycle license to drive the Elio in 41 states

All but nine US states tweak license categories for trike.

Elio Motors orange trike front three-quarter
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Elio Motors orange trike front three-quarter
  • Elio Motors orange trike front three-quarter
  • Elio Motors orange trike front view
  • Elio Motors orange trike front headlight
  • Elio Motors orange trike front wheel cover
  • Elio Motors orange trike interior ipad
  • Elio Motors orange trike steering wheel
Super-fuel-efficient-vehicle startup Elio Motors has 41 states on board to ease the licensing process for prospective buyers of the trike. With New Jersey and Rhode Island updating its laws this summer, all but nine US states either have exemptions for motorcycle licenses or added laws delineating what's called an "autocycle." Such laws mean that prospective Elio vehicle buyers in 41 states don't need a motorcycle license to drive the trike.

Founded in 2009, Elio has been busy pushing forward on the legislative front. Within the past four years, Elio has spurred 30 states to tweak their transportation-license laws to make it easier for prospective Elio buyers to drive them legally, including eight states that have the "autocycle" delineation "going through the legislative process."

Elio also made sure the enclosed trike is quite car-like. The Elio will have airbags, seatbelts, and a steering wheel, as well as accelerator and brake pedals. The vehicle is powered by a 900cc three-cylinder engine and will get as much as 84 miles per gallon for a cost of $6,800. Like most automotive startups, Elio Motors has been subject to numerous production delays.

As of late spring, Elio said it had taken more than 50,000 reservations for the trikes. But the company also pushed back its launch date, saying that it would reduce 2016 sales to 100 pre-production vehicles and start sales in earnest in 2017. This spring, the company also completed its final design stage of engineering while hiring high-end auto engineer Roush to aid the design process. Take a look at Elio Motors' press release below.

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Elio Motors Legislative Update: 41 States Now Have Autocycle Definition or Motorcycle License Exemption for Enclosed Three-Wheel Vehicles
Rhode Island, New Jersey most recent states to pass 'autocycle' legislation

PHOENIX, July 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Elio Motors (OTCQX:ELIO), today announced that 41 states now provide exemptions for motorcycle licenses or have enacted legislation creating a new class of vehicle – the autocycle -- for enclosed three-wheel vehicles.

Elio Motors, which is slated to launch an enclosed, three-wheel vehicle with a targeted base price of $6,800 that will get up to 84 mpg, has been leading the autocycle legislative charge at the state and federal level since 2012.

When the company started its legislative push, just 11 states had exemptions for motorcycle licenses to operate an enclosed three-wheel vehicle. Since then, the Elio Motors legislative team has helped pass autocycle legislation in 30 states. Rhode Island and New Jersey became the 29th and 30th states to pass autocycle legislation earlier this summer.

"We've made great strides in helping draft legislation that defines the autocycle category," said Elio Motors founder and CEO, Paul Elio. "Harmonized state and federal legislation not only allows ease of movement across state jurisdictions for autocycles, but it also satisfies one of our key 'Must Haves' of uncompromised safety by defining higher safety requirements than what currently exists in the motorcycle category."

The Elio, because it has three wheels, is currently classified as a motorcycle by the federal government. However, its standard features will include seatbelts, three airbags and automotive-type controls such as a steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedals. The Elio is more like a traditional passenger vehicle than a motorcycle. Therefore, vehicle owners should be able to operate the Elio with a standard driver's license.

"We applaud the work of those state legislatures that have realized new vehicle types require new legislative and regulatory approaches," Elio said. "The autocycle definition is clearly in the best interests of our customers from a safety and convenience stand point."

Currently, there are eight states with autocycle definitions going through the legislative process.

About Elio Motors

Founded by car enthusiast Paul Elio in 2009, Elio Motors Inc. represents a revolutionary approach to manufacturing an ultra-high-mileage vehicle. The three-wheel Elio is engineered to attain a highway mileage rating of up to 84 mpg while providing the comfort of amenities such as power windows, power door lock, cruise control and air conditioning accompanied by the safety of multiple air bags and an aerodynamic, enclosed vehicle body. Elio's first manufacturing site will be in Shreveport, La.

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